Chances are slim that a team outside of the Power 5 Conferences will make the inaugural College Football Playoffs, but programs like Marshall, East Carolina and Colorado State will do everything they can to make crash the party.
Despite the possibility that they could win out and finish the season without another defeat (or loss for Marshall); these three might be playing for something more. The Playoff selection committee is responsible for choosing the four playoff teams. They will also select the eight teams and match ups for the four other major bowls (Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Peach bowls). The highest-ranked team from outside of the Power Five (American, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt) is guaranteed a slot in one of the games, even if that team falls outside the top 12.
Colorado State in a sense does not control its own destiny even if they win their last 4 games. Their only loss was at the hands of Boise State back in September, which means that the Broncos would represent the Mountain Division in the Conference Championship game. The Committee could look unfavorably on that and give the nod to Marshall or East Carolina.
Marshall who wasn’t ranked has a dark horse Heisman candidate in QB Rakeem Cato and the Thundering Herd will look to make a statement with their remaining opponents (because of the weak schedule).
East Carolina in my opinion is the most dangerous of the three contenders and very capable of not only crashing the party, but also winning. Watch the Pirates as they still have to play Cincinnati and UCF.
Will any of these programs crash the Inaugural College Football Playoff Party? This is sure to be exciting.